Michigan Runs Over Chips

A beautiful early fall afternoon, 110,000 fans, and the U-M running game is on a roll.<br><br> Deja Vu of my '70's undergrad days? No, Mr. Schembechler wasn't prowling the sidelines. But that was about all that was missing. Michigan put on a ball running clinic that hearkened back to the "Days of Bo."

So yours truly wrote this morning at 11:30 AM, sitting in my seat in the press box waiting for the game to begin. This was no great prescience on my part. Everyone in the stadium knew U-M wanted to start 2003 by establishing -- make that re-establishing - the run in the Big House.

And run it they did, for 370 yards en route to coasting to a 45-7 win over the overmatched Central Michigan Chippewas.

Leading the way for the Wolverines was senior tailback Chris Perry, giving notice that this year HE may be the big Ten's best running back with a 232 yard, two touchdown, performance on just 22 carries (10.55 yards per carry) -- the most yards ever for a Michigan running back in a season opener.

Perry is running behind potentially one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in Michigan history of course, but Perry showed great individual-effort cut-back ability in breaking off one long run after the other, to record the first Wolverine 200-plus yard rushing effort since Anthony Thomas in the September 23, 2000 Illinois game.

John Navarre was also sharp in the passing department, completing 19-of-33 passes for 245 yards with one interception. Junior receiver Braylon was used sparingly but caught five passes, two for TD's.

This was a game for clearing the bench, and virtually all of Michigan's scholarship players (aside for freshmen being redshirted) saw action.

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